The Southern Exposure Grant

Documenting the people, culture and landscape of the American Southeast

Past Winner

Mundane Nashville

David S. Piñeros - TN, USA

This projects documents the everyday life in downtown Nashville, it puts in perspective the human condition and sociocultural realities. It is a street photography work that will become a coffee table book.

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Nashville is the capital of Tennessee, globally known as the Music City. Currently Nashville is going through new times on its history, since its rate of demographical and economic growth has never been faster. Indeed, Nashville is one of the most active and fastest growing cities in the southeast, with an average growth of 100 people a day and with a visitation of over 14 million tourists per year. This project aims to document the everyday life in downtown Nashville, putting in perspective the human conditions, social inequalities, and reflecting the culture and music in the streets. The result from this project will be a photographic body of work compiled into a coffee table book.
There have been some previous photobooks about the Music City, some remarkable examples are “Nashville’s Lower Broadway: The Street That Music Made” by Bill Rouda; or, “Nashville then and now” by Karina McDanielor. However, to my knowledge this is the first photobook project that attempts to show Nashville beyond the country music bars and landmarks, but focuses on the human condition of ordinary people. Evidencing contemporary social dynamics and realities from the city. Besides, this work will constitute a historic document portraying the people in Downtown Nashville as it is today before it keeps changing.
In addition, this work adds to the visual art production in the city. As I’ve described Nashville is known for the music, but not that much for other forms of art. However, the city is growing and changing, recently in 2001 the First Center for The Visual Arts opened and there is a small cluster of galleries on 5th avenue, where I pretend to exhibit the book. Therefore, this kind of book will help with the art available for and about Nashville; besides, as I mention before it also adds to the current limited variety of photobooks from the city.
Finally, what I love about the concept of making a book instead of a traditional exhibition is that the work will be available for most people and not just for those that can afford an expensive print. Besides, people will carry with them a meaningful body of work instead of a single picture out of context.

To finish a photographic body of work about the everyday life of Downtown Nashville in a self-published coffee table book.

Book content
The work is a contemporary perspective about the street life and human condition of one of the fastest growing metropolis in the Southeast, The Music City. It shows the everyday life in downtown as a collective reality with many sides. Including portraits of ordinary people in the public space; overpopulation and traffic; contrasts of human conditions as poverty and luxury; and, portraits of street musicians and performers that make the streets of Nashville a unique, bizarre and vibrant place.
The work falls in the category of street photography, is expressive and visually strong. All pictures are spontaneous and come from real people and real moments. Besides, the work is described not only by the visual language but by personal notes and stories to provide perspective; with a conversational style that engage the readers and make the work feel personal.
Art style: Street Photography; 100% black and white photography.

Book specifications
 Number of photos: Approx. 120 photographs
 Number of pages: Approx. 130 pages
 Chapters: 4
 Printed copies: 50
 Body: softcover; premium matte paper (148 GSM); landscape 10x8 in.

Book Publication
 50 copies will be exhibited at Arcade Alley in Downtown Nashville (65, Arcade Alley, TN 37219). Every first Saturday of every month there is the Art Crawl with over 1000 visitors. The work will get exposure to both the general public as well as other local artists and gallery owners.
 The book will have an ebook version available on

Project Timeline
1. Booking of gallery space at Arcade Alley: First day
2. Book content completion (the book is already in progress): 4 to 5 months
3. Book preview printing and editing: 2 weeks
4. Book final printing and ebook version: 1 month
5. Book exhibition: depending on the booked date on (1), expected to be from the 6th to the 12th month.

Grant use
100% of the grant will be used to cover the expense of printing 1 preview copy and 50 final copies with the book specifications described above (the expenses from photographic gear, previous and remaining shooting periods are being financed from personal funds).
This grant will give this book the opportunity to come to life, by funding the first 50 copies. This could be the beginning of a very successful book, since it will have exposure to a big audience which is Nashville’s huge touristic visitation and highly increasing population. In other words, potentially this work could reach thousands of people per year. I will be honored to acknowledge the Luminous Endowment and The Southern Exposure Grant in every copy.

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